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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Outback driver caught in reverse
Australian outback road
Service stations are few and far between in the outback
A man pulled over for driving slowly in the Australian outback has been charged with reckless driving - because police found him driving in reverse.

The man was stopped for driving at a little over 56km/h (35mph) on a highway near the outback town of Kalgoorlie.

But quick police work soon established that the car was in fact heading backwards - all the way to Perth, some 550km (340 miles) across the desert.

The driver, 22, told police he chose to drive in reverse when his gears failed.

Police were left baffled as to why the unnamed driver chose not to call a mechanic from Kalgoorlie, the Western Australia gold mining town where his gearbox "cooked".

Instead they listened as he explained how he set off in reverse gear along the Great Eastern Highway in his 1988 Ford.

He was forced to slow down from his top speed of 80km/h because he found himself swerving wildly across the road, police said.

He had already travelled 20km before he was stopped.

Police breathalysed the man, who was found not to be under the influence of alcohol.

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